Prediction and necessity

1.) Aristotle concludes what he called (for the first time) a science of physics with a proof for a spiritual mover with infinite power. That said, he wasn’t trying to identify statistical plots of data and interpret them according to a model in order to predict future experience.

2.) Data ranged statistically is always a sample and so incomplete. In this sense, data is endless and is made doubly so by the indefinite amount of models that might interpret it and possible future experiences. Because of this essentially indefinite character of the data-model picture one is forming, the one engaged in this activity knows in advance that he can, will and must keep filling in this picture indefinitely.

3.) The data-model picture might end up arriving at the same conclusion as Aristotle did, or might conclude to a divinity by way of different properties. The data-model picture might well someday look like creation, but at the moment creation (or its absence) can only be a suggestion and a hypothesis.

4.) Aristotle did not target prediction but necessity. It’s clear that these are different in mathematics, which served as Aristotle’s paradigm for science. The law of cosines does not predict a relationship among the sides of future triangles, if for no other reason than it is nonsensical to speak about “future” triangles. Aristotle thought that there was an element like this in natural things too, sc. their species and the properties that were linked to it by necessity.

5.) Prediction thus becomes our sole access to nature to the extent that we fail to attain to what things are and what is linked to this.  

6.) There are three possible ways we might stand to understanding what things are and what relates to them by necessity

a.) We might not understand them at all

b.) We might understand only that things have species but be unable to understand what they are.

c.) We might understand both that things have species and what these are, at least to some extent.

7.)  I don’t see how either a or b are compatible with saying that we know things abstractly.

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